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Karah is an active member of the Golf Managers Association (GMA) and attends many key conferences and courses. Here’s what she had to say when we chatted about her role at Oatlands.
How did you begin your career in the golf industry?
I started as a casual bar attendant in 2018 and progressed to bar supervisor shortly after. I then became full-time food and beverage manager before being promoted to clubhouse manager. Over the last 12 months, I also incorporated the event's role at the club into my overall responsibilities. I am so grateful for landing my first bar attendant job at a golf club because I never knew the potential opportunities that were available within the golf club industry.
What do your day-to-day activities at Oatlands entail?
No day is the same for me, and that is what I love about my job - the variety. The start of the week requires a fair bit of admin and the tail end of the week is typically full of events/functions. I start every day with a coffee and usually dress in something very bright or handmade – colours are motivating for me. Then I get going on emails, updating the events run sheet, checking with my bar supervisors and preparing to present any reports for upcoming meetings.
My favourite day in the life of a clubhouse manager would be to host an event that I have created completely from start to finish. Something like a ‘paint and sip’ or ‘cocktail masterclass’ when I have developed the painting, menu and recipe cards. It is extremely rewarding to witness members enjoying themselves so much during one of my events. It truly makes me love my job even more.
What is the best community event at Oatlands Golf Club?
Oatlands Golf Club is a community in itself. Any event we run brings members from all walks of life together through a shared passion for playing golf. We ran our first live music event on the course earlier this year in March called ‘Grooves on the Green’ - it was a huge success. It was great to see 100s of members come together and support their club whilst having fun and socialising with their fellow members, family and friends.
And, what are the best club events/activities for non-golfing members?
Hands down our Bettington Restaurant held twice a month would be my favourite as I get the opportunity to run a pop-up restaurant for the night. However, not to be biased but I think the events I personally host at the club are the best way to enjoy the golf club for non-golfers and for members to bring guests. They range from cocktail masterclasses, paint and sips, trivia nights and, coming up soon, I will be hosting our first Karahoke night. (I have named it Karahoke as I will be hosting the night). I have so many more ideas for boutique and intimate events to host at the club and I can’t wait to get them up and running.
What’s your favourite meal at Bettington Restaurant?
Our menu changes monthly so our members who attend regularly have the chance to try something different every time they join us. I love how our Head Chef, Andrew Yang, prepares every dish, but if I was to pick one favourite off a recent menu it would be the MSA MB4 beef short ribs with a truffle and mushroom puree, gruyere potato fondant, snow peas, and Brussel sprouts.
What’s happening next at Oatlands?
It’s officially prime event season here at the club. We have many corporate days, private functions and also a packed schedule for our members.
We will be hosting many Bettington Restaurant dinners including a Christmas-themed one in December. There will be a social card game night, the ‘Karahoke’ event, Winter Eats & Beats, New Member Cocktail Night, Family Day Fair, a cocktail masterclass and another Grooves on the Green…the list goes on.
The club is actively trying to get more women and girls involved in golf and many programs are running till the end of the year including our Getting Started Program and our popular Junior Development Program.
Finally, do you have any advice for a newbie Club House Manager?
My main advice would be to trust your instincts and shoot your shot (or sink that putt) when it comes to developing new and innovative ideas and events. Members love coming to their club. Why not give them something different and fun to bring their friends and family along to? Even just to socialise with fellow members who they haven’t met before.
Getting to know your members is also very important, it makes the job feel like you are part of a community. I enjoy making everyone’s day special by ensuring that they receive the best hospitality service and by going above and beyond their expectations. Having a supportive General Manager who is prepared to back my new and creative ideas, as well as a great team that I can train and delegate to makes my day more manageable as there are so many things that need to be done in this challenging yet rewarding role.